Serena wins the Undergraduate Excellence Award!

Congratulations are in order to Serena, who was selected as the winner of the Earth Department’s Undergraduate Excellence Award for a senior who excels both academically and in the research sphere. This award was presented at our annual Dorr Dinner, which was broken up this year by the excitement of a tornado warning! All guests brought their plates of fancy dinner to a lower level ballroom at The Graduate while the tornado passed, then returned to the upper level for the presentation of awards.


Congrats Serena! What an accomplishment!

Serena and Steve graduate!

Congratulations to our SCIPP group graduates! Senior thesis student Steve Wedel finished his undergraduate degree in Geology and Serena Scholz completed her master’s degree with a very impressive master’s thesis (one paper published, another nearly submitted).

Although the in-person graduation ceremonies were canceled due to COVID-19, we are still so proud of you guys! Sad to see you go, but excited to see the next steps in your bright futures!

New Paper Update: Tropical Seasonality in the Miocene

Serena’s first paper was just published in Geology! She measured the oxygen isotopic composition of modern and fossil gastropod shells of the genus Turritella at high (subannual) resolution. In tropical settings, temperature doesn’t vary too much throughout the year, so the large seasonal variations in d18Ocarbonate were therefore attributable to changes in d18Oseawater, which she linked to on-shore precipitation. This indicated that there was a high seasonality of precipitation at the sample site (Guajira Peninsula, Colombia), which is today an extremely arid environment. She suggested that the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ICTZ), a band of high precipiation, could have extended to a more northerly position during the warm Miocene and been the source of this increased precipitation seasonality.

Congrats Serena on your first paper!


Link to Paper

SCIPP Lab Represents at MGU

Earth Scientists of UM gathered today for the annual Michigan Geophysical Union (MGU) Research Symposium. There were over 70 posters presented in two sessions, with 50 from the Earth department. Out of these, 5 posters were from our group – 10% of all Earth department posters! (and an even higher % of the undergraduate poster presenters – wow!).

Jade, Serena, Jon, Becca, and Tianna all did a great job presenting. Our very own Serena won the Best Undergraduate Poster award! Congratulations Serena!

Matt and Sierra contributed too by judging student posters and giving feedback.